Big Bear Valley’s two newest baby bald eagles just got new names: Cookie and Simba.
The nonprofit ran a contest after the two eggs hatched earlier in April, following weeks of incubation and fussing from parents Jackie and Shadow. The organization drew 25 names out of the pool of submissions, then local third graders voted for their favorites.
“Cookie” was a group effort from kindergarteners from the Heritage Computer Science Academy in Santa Ana, according to Friends of Big Bear Valley. The entire school has been watching the nest cam everyday since Jackie laid the eggs.
“We have all learned so much from watching nature at its finest – can’t wait to see what they do next,” teacher Susan Hansen said.
Meanwhile, Samuel Brown, a third grader from Rancho Cucamonga, submitted “Simba.”
Samuel has been following Big Bear Valley’s eagles with his grandfather since Stormy came to the scene during the 2017-2018 nesting season.
“His class was watching the eagles being born and was very excited when his suggested eagle name was selected,” Friends of Big Bear Valley said.
Bald eagles nearly disappeared from most of the U.S. decades ago. But they began to flourish when officials banned the pesticide DDT and enforced habitat protections.
A count in March put the eagle population in the Inland Empire at 13.
Jackie, now 7 years old, was the first recorded bald eagle born in Big Bear Valley. She was initially called Jack, but experts learned that she was female when she grew larger than her parents.